Canada hopes n-deal talks to end soon, says open to gas supply

Canadian Foreign Minister John BairdNEW DELHI: Making it clear that it has no concern over nuclear proliferation from India, energy-rich Canada today hoped for early conclusion of administrative discussion over the civil nuclear deal signed in 2010 and said it can be a stable supplier of natural gas.

“We have no concerns with respect to proliferation. These concerns and issues are in the past… I am confident that these discussions will be concluded early,” Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said here following his meeting with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

Baird said Canada was “pleased” with the civil nuclear deal and that it certainly does not have any “additional concerns” with respect to these discussions or agreements that it has with the US or the European Union.

Ending a 36-year-old freeze in nuclear cooperation, Canada had in 2010 signed a landmark civil nuclear deal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assuring the Canadian leadership that imported uranium and atomic technology will not be used for “any unintended purpose.”

Canada is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The civil nuclear deal, energy and food security, economic ties besides greater cooperation in counter terrorism and security prominently figured in the discussion the two Ministers had.

Describing the nuclear deal as a “milestone” in Indo-Canadian ties, Krishna said there was “nothing” that is holding back the deal.

“The two governments are in the process of working out arrangements, details, which is being negotiated. These are matters of details, which is being worked out in consultations …It is being negotiated. We look forward to completion of these consultations,” Krishna said.

Official sources said the discussions are merely administrative in nature and there were no hiccups or fresh conditions.

“We also looked forward to early completion of negotiations on appropriate arrangements for the bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement,” Krishna said.

Baird said, “We look forward for enhancing our cooperation of providing peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

Canada, which is the world’s third largest natural gas producer and exporter, and also has the third largest proven reserves of oil, also extended a helping hand to India, which is looking at all avenues to meet its growing energy needs.

(More) PTI SAP” We have significant reserves (of gas),” Baird said, adding that there was a huge scope for commerce in this front.

“Canada can be a stable supplier of natural gas to India…We can be a stable source,” Baird said. He added that there was “great opportunities” in the field of oil and gas.

Calling it a “super-power” in energy, Krishna said Canada is a potential source of oil and natural gas for India.

Canada’s rich natural resources and sophisticated technological and educational base gives us a great promise to take our engagement more substantive, he said.

“I have stressed to Foreign Minister Baird that Canada can be a true partner in India’s pursuit for food security as well as energy security.

“Indeed, trends in supplies and price of oil and gas make Canada an economically attractive option for sourcing our requirements; and this is a subject of growing importance in our dialogue and in the engagement between our two private sectors,” he said.

Krishna added that he and Baird had productive discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making on bilateral framework agreements like the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Social Security Agreement.

“This is in addition to a number of agreements for co-operation in areas like agriculture, mining and higher education signed over the last few years,” Krishna said. -PTI